In this book, Linda Kulzer, O.S.B., and Roberta Bondi have gathered stories of many of the ordinary and extraordinary men and women Benedictine oblates--members of the Benedictine family who live in the world. This book begins with an introductory chapter citing some reasons for an influx of Benedictine oblates into monasteries today. It then presents in detail a collection of the lives of nineteen significant Benedictine oblates who lived from the years 973 to 2000. Nearly half the contributors are themselves Benedictine oblates and most of the others are professed Benedictine monastics. The combined effort offers support and inspiration to those who have loved their oblate journey and brings to light the lives of these outstanding lay monastics. Among the more well-known oblates included are Dorothy Day, Patrick and Patricia Crowley, Jacques and Raissa Maritain, Walker Percy, H. R. Reinhold, and Elena Comaro.